As I said in last blog, never travel with Saudi Arabian Airlines!! I somehow ended up in Riyadh, in transit to Mauritius, very old plane, crew had no idea what they were doing and didn’t care. When we arrived at the airport, some man who was a official, starting yelling at me as I got into the transit area, I told him to stop, and the police came and stopped him. I really thought he was going to hit me. So, we were ready to get on an international flight and were standing by the door to the plane for a long time, our boarding passes had already been scanned; we were told they were still cleaning plane, which was a lie, they were fixing the brakes. We were in a very small space, and there were mothers with babies, the only place to sit was on the floor! I had to go to the bathroom and was told I couldn’t go back to terminal. I said fine than I am going on the plane, which was right there. They finally let me on, and after using the bathroom they told me I could go to my seat, where I sat for the next hour, with all the other people still in the holding area. I was the only foreigner. It was really awful, in talking to the crew they told me they were paid very poorly, can’t remember the rate they told me in Euros but I was shocked at how low; staff turn over was extremely high. I was also told the Royal Family used the airline for their personal financial gain. I was very surprised by this country not having the best of the best.
The next flight I took was better, nice plane, better staff, but when the pilot asked the crew to take their seats as he landed none of the crew did, just kept chatting.
Safety, not important!! No style or finesse anywhere, on the plane, or in the airport what so ever.The man sitting next to me was being married the afternoon we arrived in Mauritius, it was a arranged marriage, he had never met his bride or had never traveled out of Bangladesh, I filled out his arrival form for him and stayed with him through security; I would have hated for him to miss his wedding. He owned a factory in his country.
Finally arrived in beautiful Mauritius. I was here 5 years ago and just loved the place, gentle people, slower pace, and even though part of Africa, very different than other African countries I have visited. I am staying at the BK retreat center with my room overlooking the Indian Ocean; not too hard to take; I go to sleep and wake up to the sounds of the waves.
Working on book, planning for launch late spring and trying to figure out where I travel next?